Well, we got out of “Dodge” for a few days. Yep, we’re in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. While there’s still masks and social distancing, it’s not quite as intense as home. We went to mass this morning and it was very organized and welcoming…not as much intensity.. easier to focus on the Eucharist. We went out to dinner last night for the first time in a couple of months. We did sit outside at appropriate distances, but we had a waitress who served us and had a nice meal; it felt almost normal. That cold beer tasted very good.
One of the highlights of today was that our son Jon & his wife Joy and their older kids went horseback riding. Wow, talk about John Wayne and “Gunfight At The OK Corral”…it was impressive. They all marched away as Judy and I watched. I thought we may never see them again. Seven year old Will led the way….. his first ever ride on a horse with his mask on and a steely determined look in his eye. I could see him fight back fear…”what in the world am on doing on this huge animal… but he didn’t utter a word…eyes straight ahead, he showed real courage. The rest of the gang followed along taking their lead from “Wild Will Touhill”. It was impressive.
The true meaning of courage is not the absence of fear but rather the ability to overcome fear in search of a goal. Even the most courageous of people still feel fear at times. In order to tap into this power, you must practice and increase your bravery one courageous act at a time.
I don’t think anyone would have question Will or even his next older sister if they had decided to pass on the horse ride …. but they decided to not surrender to fear or reluctance and “go for it”. As a result their courage grew.
I guess every time we resist fear and decide to do the right thing, we do increase our bravery. Today a 7 year old encouraged a 70 year old to not give into fear, but do the right thing. We live in an age of fear with the Coronavirus, social unrest, attacks on our cultural and religious values. Left to itself, this fear will cripple us. When we pray and ask the Lord to give us strength, we can conquer fear, grow in bravery, and make a difference. That’s good news.